Garlic has a long history of medicinal and therapeutic uses, from treating the common cold to lowering blood pressure. A study published by the American Cancer Association has revealed that compounds found in garlic may also be effective cancer-fighting agents as well, specially fighting against brain cancer cells.
The study showed that “Garlic-derived organosulfur compounds such as diallyl sulfide (DAS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), and diallyl trisulfide (DATS) provide significant protection against carcinogenesis” by testing the reaction to the compounds in glioblastoma cells – cells of a common type of brain cancer. While there is a ways to go before these study results translate into patient care practices, the researchers on the study are optimistic about the results, and for good reason – there is copious compelling scientific evidence pointing to garlic’s ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, not just in glioblastoma but in multiple types of cancer.
“Overall, a host of studies provides compelling evidence that garlic and its organic allyl sulphur components are effective inhibitors of the cancer process” says one study from 2001, published in the journal Advances In Experimental Medicine and Biology.
Another article from the Journal Of Nutrition attributes garlic’s efficacy in preventing cancer cell growth to oil and water-soluble allyl sulfur compounds found in the herb.
A third study, published in the journal Planta Medica, looked at garlic’s anti-cancer properties alongside those of other fruits and vegetables. Perhaps most significantly, this study looked at dietary sources of garlic as cancer-preventing agents, suggesting that consuming garlic as part of your daily diet may be enough to slow the growth of cancer cells.
Making Garlic Part Of Your Diet
Garlic should be eaten raw to get the most benefit from it; while it tastes great cooked, the cooking process can destroy the enzymes that block the growth of cancer cells. It should also be as fresh as possible.
When eating raw garlic, try dicing it finely and then letting it sit for fifteen minutes before eating it, to give the enzymes enough time to activate. Raw garlic can be incorporated into smoothies and other recipes; when uncooked, this herb has a distinctive, spicy flavor.